Friday, April 11, 2008

To Live Among Wolves

—James Kavanaugh

There are men too gentle to live among wolves
Who prey upon them with IBM eyes
And sell their hearts and guts for martinis at noon.
There are men too gentle for a savage world
Who dream instead of snow and children and Halloween
And wonder if the leaves will change their color soon.

There are men too gentle to live among wolves
Who anoint them for burial with greedy claws
And murder them for a merchant's profit and gain.
There are men too gentle for a corporate world
Who dream instead of candied apples and ferris wheels
And pause to hear the distant whistle of a train.

There are men too gentle to live among wolves
Who devour them with eager appetite and search
For other men to prey upon and suck their childhood dry.
There are men too gentle for an accountant's world
Who dream instead of Easter eggs and fragrant grass
And search for beauty in the mystery of the sky.

There are men too gentle to live among wolves
Who toss them like a lost and wounded dove.
Such gentle men are lonely in a merchant's world,
Unless they have a gentle one to love.


I just heard about this...

•••TONIGHT (4/11), 7:30 PM: Avid Reader Bookstore in Davis presents Edythe Haendel Schwartz. 617 Second St., Davis. Info: 530-758-4040.

Other NorCal poetry events this weekend:

•••Friday (4/11), 6 PM: Art Walk in Stockton at Janet Leigh (Cinema) Plaza. Watch for Stockton Arts Commissioner Deena Heath’s red, white and blue sign. Bring your pocket poem to share. The first 50 participants will receive a fabulous POET button courtesy of California Arts Council. Info: Deena Heath (109-937-7488) or

•••Friday (4/11), 7:30 PM: Grass Valley Symposium: Listening to the Wild, A literary gathering around the theme, "Listening to the Wild". Sacramento novelist Bill Pieper will be the evening's master of ceremonies. Other reader/speakers will include poet Julie Valin, novelist Wylene Dunbar, novelist Elizabeth Appell, storyteller Doc Dachtler and some particularly literate students from the Nevada Union and Bear River High Schools. Poet and writer Jonathan Kiefer will read some of his essays from the Sierra Club Books anthology, A Leaky Tent is a Piece of Paradise. Center for the Arts, Main stage, 314 West Main St., Grass Valley.

•••Saturday (4/12), 6-9 PM: The Bonefolders: Poems-For-All Building Party. Help Richard Hansen’s Poems-For-All crew build the hundreds of poem booklets they want to put on the streets for Poetry Month. Each little booklet made as part of the Poems-For-All (PFA) Series goes through the same ritual: Cut. Fold. Staple. Bonefolders are the small tools used to make a neat fold in paper. The Bonefolders are those kind souls willing to come out and help PFA build little booklets to be given away for free. Care to be a bonefolder? Join us anytime between 6 and 9 PM in the relaxed atmosphere of The Book Collector, 1008 24th St., Sacramento. Come to fold poems or just hang out and enjoy the light refreshments. There are jobs for any skill level. Building little poem books is theraputic and you're welcome to take some with you!

•••Saturday (4/12), 2-4 PM: Culture Collection presents Shanine Abercrombie, Yoke Breaker and vocalist Sidney Nicholas. 6391 Riverside Blvd., Sacramento. Free. Info: 916-208-7638.

•••Sunday (4/13), 7 PM: Poets Corner Presents Melanie Sievers, Richard Rios, Cyndi Torres and Roger Naylor in a reading for Poetry Month, 2008, followed by Open Mic. Barnes & Noble Stockton, Weberstown Mall on March Lane.

•••Monday (4/14), 7:30 PM: Sacramento Poetry Center presents the winners of their High School Poetry Contest. HQ for the Arts, 25th & R Sts., Sacramento. Open mic after.


Two submission opportunities:

Dennis Buckman writes: I have decided to hold a "Writers/Poetry Contest" for my most recent floral piece. This can be found by going to my web site and clicking on the link, "Gallery News". There, you will find the work and submission form for the entrants. The Contest will be open until July 30th, 2008. The winner of the contest will receive a signed and numbered edition of the work. We will also pay the shipping and insurance charges. In addition, the winning entry will serve as the Certificate of Authenticity and accompany the remaining 49 limited edition prints. The contestants are invited to submit as many entries as they wish. Judging will be performed by a third party I have chosen and whose opinion I value.

•••Many Voices Press is accepting submissions for an anthology of poets from Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. No deadline; they will continue to review submissions until they have a quantity sufficient to compile a 400-pg. manuscript entitled, Poets of the American West, to be published in 2009. They are especially looking for poems “that offer original insights into historical or contemporary life in the American West.” They are also seeking poems in Native American languages or in Spanish. Write for submission guidelines: Many Voices Press, Flathead Valley Community College, 777 Grandview Dr., Kalispell, MT 59901.


—James Kavanaugh

I like the quiet mornings
When the waves have washed the footprints from the shore,
When even the gulls are just beginning to stir
And the heat of the day has not yet aroused the flies to search
the seaweed for breakfast,
When the beach still has the sand of sleep in its eyes
And the driftwood looks like tired swimmers resting on the shore,
When the waves laugh at the rocks
And playfully wash the night from their eyes.

Soon enough the hungry gulls will dive for fish
And the waves will beat shape into the rocks.
Feet will pound on the beach
And ladies will snatch the driftwood for lamps,
And I will face the day's demands,
Trampled like the sand,
Wounded like the rocks,
Torn up like the wood,
Living for another quiet morning!


Today's LittleNip:

How about a little firkytoodling before breakfast?



Here's Medusa's new weekly menu of features.
Contributors are welcome to submit to any and all of these!

Monday: Weekly NorCal poetry calendar

Seed of the Week: Tuesday is Medusa's day to post poetry triggers such as quotes, forms, photos, memories, jokes—whatever might tickle somebody's muse. Pick up the gauntlet and send in your poetic results; and don't be shy about sending in your own triggers, too! All poems will be posted and a few of them will go into Medusa's Corner of each Rattlesnake Review. Send your work to me at or P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726. No deadline for SOW; respond today, tomorrow, or whenever the muse arrives. (Print 'em out, maybe, save 'em for a dry spell?) When you send us work, though, just let us know which "seed" it was that inspired you.

Wednesday: HandyStuff Quickies: Resources for the poet, including whatever helps ease the pain of writing and/or publishing. Favorite journals to read and/or submit to; books, etc., about writing; organizational tools—you know—HandyStuff! Tell us about your favorites.

Thursday: B.L.'s Drive-Bys: Micro-reviews by our irreverent Reviewer-in-Residence, B.L. Kennedy

Friday: NorCal poetry calendar for the weekend

Daily (except Sunday): LittleNips: SnakeFood for the Poetic Soul: Daily food for poetic thought, including short paragraphs, quotes, wonky words, silliness, little-known poetry/poet facts, and other inspiration—yet another way to feed our ever-hungry poetic souls.


SnakeWatch: News from Rattlesnake Press

New in April: Ann Menebroker’s new chapbook (Small Crimes); Ted Finn's SnakeRings SpiralChap of his poetry and art (Damn the Eternal War); and Katy Brown's blank (well, not really) journal of photos and prompts, MUSINGS (For Capturing Creative Thought). All of these are now available at The Book Collector and will soon be available through

Coming in May: Join us on May 12 for the release of Among Summer Pines by Quinton Duval; a littlesnake broadside by Stephani Schaefer; and Volume Three of Conversations, our third book of interviews by B.L. Kennedy. That's at The Book Collector, 1008 24th St., Sacramento, 7:30 PM.

Also in May: Deadline for Issue #18 of Rattlesnake Review is May 15. Free copies of Issue #17 are available at The Book Collector, or send me two bux and I'll mail you one.

Medusa encourages poets of all ilk and ages to send their POETRY, PHOTOS and ART, as well as announcements of Northern California poetry events, to (or snail ‘em to P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726) for posting on this daily Snake blog. Rights remain with the poets. Previously-published poems are okay for Medusa’s Kitchen, as long as you own the rights. (Please cite publication.) Medusa cannot vouch for the moral fiber of other publications, contests, etc. that she lists, however, so submit to them at your own risk. For more info about the Snake Empire, including guidelines for submitting to or obtaining our publications, click on the link to the right of this column: Rattlesnake Press ( And be sure to sign up for Snakebytes, our monthly e-newsletter that will keep you up-to-date on all our ophidian chicanery.